MANILA, Philippines?Saying that the threats of earthquakes and tsunamis ?pale in comparison? to that of the reproductive health bill, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. on Saturday urged Filipinos to junk the proposed law pending in Congress.
A day after the Catholic Church?s massive anti-RH rally at the Quirino Grandstand, Davide attended a Mass at the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila that marked the start of the Knight of Columbus? Walk for Life.
?Let us not only walk for life. Let us, without cease and without fear, stand, fight, work and pray for life ? For today, there are forces that threaten the right to life itself, especially the right of the Unborn,? Davide, a KC member, said in a statement.
?The threats to life caused by earthquakes or tsunamis, or even nuclear radiation, and terrorism and war pale in comparison to the destruction of life or the threat to life by state policies or legislation,? he added.
An estimated 7,000 KC members from different parts of Luzon participated in the March from Intramuros to the Raja Sulayman Park in Malate.
However, the police estimated that only more than 1,000 members attended the program at Raja Sulayman.
KC spokesperson Arsenio Isidro Yap said that if the bill becomes law, they might challenge it before the Supreme Court for violating the constitutional ban against abortion.
Pro-life advocates claim that the bill allows the use of artificial contraceptives that are abortifacient or cause abortion.
Davide, a member of the 1986 constitutional commission, said that if the bill becomes law, it would violate the ?inherent life to life?the first and most fundamental human right.?
?Since abortion is committed against a life that is incapable of defending itself, a life that is equally incapable of committing a crime, abortion is a most heinous offense. It is worse than murder,? he added.
Davide said he was ?deeply saddened, discouraged and troubled? by TV ad which showed former Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros endorsing the bill and saying that it was ?pro-chance.?
?I do not know if you have seen it. In short she says the RH bill provides the chance for a better future of a family or of a child, for a better health of the child, of mother, etc.,? Davide said.
?I asked myself: Have we lost our faith and trust in God that we now would leave our future to chance?? he added.
Davide also said that while some might consider it a ?political sacrilege? to ?bring faith and government service together,? the state has its own ?morals and values.
?We cannot escape the notion that a state has its own morals and values. For one, it is the nature of the state to preserve itself. We realize that the community cannot exist without the life of the individual,? Davide said.
?To preserve itself, the interest of the state is to protect first and foremost the sanctity of individual life,? he added.
Davide also pointed out that the 1987 constitution explicitly states that the government should ?equally protect the life of the mother and life of the unborn from conception.?
?Thus, the Philippines openly recognizes rights of the unborn, whatsoever status in the scientific world. It follows then that abortion is prohibited,? Davide said.